But George Marks, executive director of the Utah Golf Association and a member of the USGA rules committee for the U.S. Open, saw the item, and he realized at once that Lopez, Rassett and Golf Digest were all wrong on the rule.
"If you are in the process of marking or remarking the ball on the green," says Marks, "and you accidentally move the ball, it is not a penalty if you put the ball back in its proper place. This is one time a golfer does not get penalized for being clumsy."
Marks told the USGA rules committee, and that body sent a letter to Golf Digest explaining the rule. The score of the match, he said, should have been 10-10.
In the years since they joined the National League back in 1962, the Houston Astros have been guilty of some depressing judgment in the matter of trading baseball players, having sent off, among others, Joe Morgan, Rusty Staub, John Mayberry, Mike Cuellar, Jerry Grote, Cesar Geronimo and Dave Giusti to star with other teams. Now there is evidence that this jarring inability to recognize talent exists elsewhere in the Houston operation.
Every now and then the club conducts a Miss Astro contest, in which it brings a pretty candidate from each city in the club's broadcasting chain to the finals in Houston. One year the Corpus Christi entry was a girl who went on to fame as Farrah Fawcett-Majors.
She didn't win.
A MAN FOR A' THAT
Tennis players may be the most excuse-ridden of all professional athletes. After a losing match they are wont to complain about the heavy (or light) balls, the slow (or fast) surface, the noise, the lights, the background, the line calls, the ball boys and girls, the spectators; they will not overlook bad luck, bad seeding, bad motivation; and, of course, they will be sure to let people know about the sore leg, elbow, back, knee, hand, shoulder or head that put them off their game.
This is standard operating procedure for most losers. But there is an exception, and he is a player usually lumped with the bad actors on court. He is Jimmy Connors. Even those affronted by Connors' disregard of the polite conventions of tennis behavior are beginning to recognize that Jimmy never cops a plea on a tennis court, even when he has ample reason to, as he certainly had this past month.